A traditional recipe with "pesto" sauce from Genoa
Time: about 1 hour
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Ingredients(for four people)
Pasta sheets for lasagna: about 24 sheets
fresh basil leaves: 160 gr
Grated sheep cheese: 160gr (possibly Romano)
Extra virgin olive oil (about a 1/2 cup)
One hint of garlic
1/3 cup of pine nuts
Salt,pepper and grated nutmeg
Grated Parmisan (about 40 gr)
Bechamel sauce: 250 ml
Mortar, wooden board, a sharp semicircular knife
Preparation of pesto
Wash basil leaves and then squeeze them carefully. Put the leaves on a wooden board and chop them very finely with the semicircular knife.
Put the chopped leaves, the hint of garlic and the pine nuts into a mortar and smash everything together. Add some olive oil (one or two spoon at a time) and some grated Romano. Taste the sauce to understand if the sauce tastes good. Adjust the sauce adding more olive oil or more grated cheese. Go on till to get a green sauce.
Preparation of the filling
Drain the ricotta in a fine sieve set over a bowl for 1 hour, or longer if the ricotta is very wet.
Put into a bowl the ricotta, a bit of grated nutmeg, some pepper, some salt and the pesto. Stir everything up till to get a soft cream.
Preparation of lasagna
Take a rectangular baking pan. The dimensions of the pan must be compatible with the dimensions of your pasta sheets (see the section above).
Grease the bottom of the pan with olive oil. This will prevent the first layer of pasta sheet from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan while baking.
Make the first layer of pasta sheets. On this first layer of pasta sheet, spread some of the filling (the filling must be as high as 3/4 mmand cover all the surface of the layer of pasta sheets). Again, make a second pasta layer, and again, spread some filling and some grated cheese. Go on with layers up till ingredinets are finished. The layers of pasta must be at least four. Usually they are six. Once got to the last layer, top with some bechamel sauce mixed with the reminder of the filling. Spread some Parmisan on the top of the filling.
Bake at 240 degrees for 30 minutes. Check lasagna sometimes; your lasagna are ready when there is a thin golden crust over there.
Tips for this stage
- the cheese for pesto must be sheep cheese, possibly Romano cheese (a sheep cheese produced near Rome).
- Be careful! pre-prepared lasagna cook faster, so check the time and the temperature on the box of lasagna.
According to the tradition, Lasagna is a first course. So, it is served after starters and before the main course. As lasagna is very rich, in modern diets lasagna is served as a main course, maybe with some fresh salad as side dish.
Structured white dry wines like Vermentino, which are produced near Genoa(Italy) and in Sardinia, are a good match for green lasagna.